Boston College Law Library Student Newsletter Spring 2013



Inside this issue:

Dear students,

Spring is coming and we have an active agenda of Law Library events and services to welcome in the new season!  I hope you will take the opportunity to try out a new e-book platform to access Practising Law Institute titles.  PLI is a favorite research source of practitioners.  Be green – the Law Library’s new KicStart scanner combines high-quality scanning with the ability to e-mail the scanned documents or save them to a flash drive.  Getting ready for a summer job or your first professional position? The teaching librarians are offering a Prepare to Practice series of research training sessions to build your research skills – be sure to attend and get a confidence boost in your legal research skills.

Professor Diane Ring offers her insights into preferred tax research sources in this issue.  Read on to learn more about our new Legal Information Librarian, Sherry Xin Chen, here as well.

We hope you will join us for the Law Library’s fifth annual Diversity Read on March 12th during the common lunch hour.  This year’s title, Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, focuses on the LGBT community.  We are co-sponsoring this read with LAMBDA. 

Best wishes for a productive spring semester!


Filippa Marullo Anzalone
Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Library & Technology Services

Filippa Anzalone

Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Professor and Associate Dean for Information and Technology Services,
Law School

Diane RingSpotlight on Faculty Use of Library Resources: Diane Ring and Tax Analysts and BNA Tax Management Portfolios

This interview is part of a series of articles focusing on a faculty member's expert use of research resources. Professor Diane Ring relies on the Tax Analysts database and the BNA Tax Management Portfolios for her writing projects and for her classroom teaching. One of the librarians discussed with Professor Ring how these databases have supported her research plans.

  1. You use Tax Analysts resources often in your research.  What features do you find most helpful in supporting your research?
  2. Professor Ring: Tax Analysts provides a great array of resources. Since my work focuses on international tax, I find Tax Notes International  a valuable  single source to track breaking news in this area.  I rely on Tax Notes International to follow regulatory debates, trends in government practices, developments in key cases, and official commentary on international tax issues.  For example, the coverage provided allowed me to monitor the evolving rules and practices, as well as foreign country reactions, to the  new U.S. reporting regime known as FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act).  The news coverage of the United Kingdom’s investigation of the tax practices of its multinational corporations  and of foreign multinationals with U.K. operations was excellent as well.   I find that Tax Notes International serves as a bridge between practice and theory because it provides news-type coverage alongside more in-depth or analytical articles.  The fact that tax practitioners, academics and government tax officials all contribute to the source ensures a robust and current dialogue.

  3. Since you perform tax treaty research to update your book chapters and for other research projects, do you find that Tax Notes International supports this area of research?
  4. Professor Ring: Absolutely!  I love the interactive nature of the Tax Analysts Treaty database.  The search feature is designed to allow me to narrow my searches to particular jurisdictions, types of treaties, and dates.  I must say that the Treaty database has streamlined this research process for me.

  5. Do you recommend Tax Notes International to your students as an important resource?
  6. Professor Ring:  Yes, I do recommend that students develop the habit of browsing Tax Notes International (for students contemplating international practice) or Tax Notes (for students more interested in U.S.-based tax practice).  Not only does this source give students background information on topics for research papers, it allows students to judge what the current “hot topics’ are in tax practice.  So by scanning the table of contents for issues, for example, they can determine that there is active interest in a topic such as the treatment of potential “services permanent establishments” – branches of a foreign corporation performing services activities  in the host jurisdiction.). The database has a search feature to allow users to search only on the last 12 months and I recommend this feature to students to track topics. 

  7. Is there another tax research source that you find essential in your work?
  8. Professor Ring: Yes, I rely on BNA Tax Management Portfolios to provide a detailed picture of  discrete tax topics.  The rich footnotes can serve as a launching point for further investigation.  Most importantly, the portfolios don’t simply repeat the statute; the source offers analysis and practice applications on the designated topic.  This is another source I recommend to my students.  Students use it to good purpose when they are focusing on a certain problem or if they are looking to identify or refine a paper topic.  And I appreciate the ease of searching the online platform since I recall the print product as well.

The Tax Analysts database and BNA Tax Management Portfolios are available to the BC Law community.  Access these databases by selecting them from the Law Library’s database list.  If you have questions about these databases or other Law Library resources, you can contact a reference librarian by texting 617-70-BCLAW or e-mailing  or visiting the information Desk.

International Law Collection
February 26, 2013 (Tuesday), 12:30 to 1:15, Room 253

This session will introduce library users to the print and electronic sources available at the BC Law Library for treaties and court decisions related to international law, along with an examination of some important international law websites.

Cover of the book City and the Pillar

Diversity Read: The City and the Pillar

March 12, 2013 (Tuesday), Common Lunch Hour, Conference Room 279

We hope you will join us for the Law Library’s fifth annual Diversity Read on March 12th during the common lunch hour.  This year’s title, Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, focuses on the LGBT community.  We are co-sponsoring the read with LAMBDA.

Sherry Xin ChenGet to know Sherry Xin Chen

Sherry Xin Chen joined the Law Library staff in January 2013.  Sherry is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.  Sherry holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Michigan School of Information as well as a master’s degree in Risk Management and Insurance from Georgia State University.  Prior to joining the BC Law Library staff, Sherry worked at Global Commerce Bank and at the University of Michigan Law Library.  Sherry is a member of the New York bar.

What do you enjoy about law librarianship, Sherry?

I enjoy law librarianship because it is an interesting, intellectually challenging, and deeply rewarding career. In a society based on the rule of law and stare decisis, legal information carries its particular power and significance. However, depending on the problem at point, the information needed can also be extremely voluminous, complex, and diffuse. As both an attorney and an information professional, I feel I am in a unique position to help people meet their legal information needs. As information technology is quickly changing the landscape of law librarianship, I also feel it is particularly exciting to enter the profession at this moment.

How would you compare the University of Michigan Law Library to BC Law Library?

First of all, I see the same dedicated, knowledgeable, and service-oriented library staff at both places—in that regard, I feel very much at home at BC. If there is any difference with the structure of services, it is probably due to the particular setting of the institution. Because the University of Michigan Law Library is a public law library, law librarians provide reference services to not only the faculty, staff, and students of the law school, but also the public patrons who walk into the door on any random day. Here at the BC Law Library, the services provided are much more integrated into the law school curriculum. The BC law librarians take more teaching responsibilities and have more interactions with students in classrooms, which I think I will really enjoy.

You are part of the Education & Reference group at the Law Library so you are  teaching this semester.  Tell us about your class.

For this semester, I am assisting Mary Ann in her Advanced Legal Research class. Mary Ann is an excellent teacher and all of our students are eager and bright learners. Teaching gives me a great opportunity to reflect upon my law school experience in order to provide more effective instructions. Because I graduated from law school not long ago, I still have fresh memories of myself researching (sometimes rather inefficiently) as a 2L and 3L at the University of Michigan. I understand many of our students’ confusions and frustrations during legal research, and am eager to help.

Where will faculty and students tend to see you on campus?

My office is in Room 251 of the Law Library. I am also scheduled at the Information Desk a couple of hours almost every day. When the spring comes and the grass is green, you may also see me strolling to and from Newton Center during lunch breaks.

Rare Book Room Exhibits and Student Event

The current Rare Book Room exhibit, "The Law of Nations," will be on display until Spring Break.  We welcome you to take a final opportunity to see our beautiful works on the development of legal literature in the world of international law.

Over Spring Break, an exhibit on Roman law will be mounted, featuring gifts from Professor Michael Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas.  That exhibit will feature some items previously displayed in a 2010 exhibit of Roman law books donated to BC Law by Professor Hoeflich, along with books from a recent gift.  Two of the "new" volumes that will be displayed are from a 1561 edition of the Corpus Iuris

Please take the time to visit the outgoing and incoming exhibits, and also keep an eye out for another student treasure room event in late March or early April! This will include a brief talk about the Roman law exhibit and an up close and personal look at some of the treasures from our Rare Book Room stacks.

In the meantime, remember that the Rare Book Room is open from 9am-5pm and is a great place to study in peace.

Lex Machina, IP Litigation Data Powerhouse

Lex Machina is an IP litigation data and analytics database. Every day, Lex Machina’s crawler extracts data and documents from PACER, U.S. District Court sites, ITC’s EDIS site and the PTO site.  The searchable cases, dockets and documents related to copyright, trademark, patent, and antitrust cases are used to compile data on patents, patent owners, attorneys, law firms, courts, and judges.  Analytics include [settlement] and case outcomes by court or judge, patent litigation by PTO classification, and median time to trial by judge.   The Lex Machina database grew out of Stanford’s Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse and provides free access to academics in hopes of bringing openness and transparency to IP law. Faculty interested in getting access to this data for themselves of their research assistants should contact Legal Information Librarian Joan Shear.


Studying with CALI on the Go

Preparing an outline for your law school exams? Dying for some clarification of law while on the go? Using CALI for all those purposes. CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, provides lessons viewable in any browser and on mobile devices. While viewing the CALI Lessons, your progress will be auto-saved and you can copy and paste content from a lesson into your outlines. You may use this link ( to select your casebook and then browse by casebook section to find the relevant CALI lesson. To obtain the CALI authorization code, please contact ATR or come to the Law Library Information Desk.

Need Ideas for Your Research Paper?

The library is offering a workshop on research papers this semester.  For tips and strategies for identifying a good paper topic, come to Starting Your Research Paper on Tuesday, February 19th at 12:30 pm in Law Library Room 253.  If you can’t make the workshop and would like guidance on your research paper or research project, stop by the library and ask to speak to one of the reference librarians.  We are here to help.

Prepare to Practice Research Sessions

Need to sharpen your research skills before heading out to your summer job or off to your first professional position?  Let the BC Law librarians guide you through research practice skills in a series of lunchtime workshops.  These workshops are held in Law Library Room 253 from 12:30-1:15 (common lunch hour) in February, March and April. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about civil motions practice, international law research, tax research and other topics!  See the full list here.


Student E-Mail Migrating to Google Apps for Education

The Student Email Project Committee chose Google Apps for Education as the email solution for BC students.  This decision is the result of great collaboration among varied constituencies across campus.

Students will continue to have an “” email address, and will have access to Gmail, Google Groups, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Sites.  In the spring 2013 semester, 1,000 students will be given the opportunity to opt in early to BC Google Apps.  In summer 2013, remaining student accounts will be migrated.

Implementation: Migration Schedule

Following a pilot in the spring 2013 semester, students will be able to opt-in to BC Google Apps. In summer 2013, the remaining student accounts will be migrated.


    February 4-6: Announcements to BC community.

    February 14 - 27: Internal ITS pilot.

    March 18 - 21: Student "early opt-in" period. First 1,000 students to respond will migrate early. Students will receive an email in mid-March that will announce the opt-in period for Google Apps. The first 1000 students to opt-in will be the first group to migrate, and remaining students will be migrated in the summer.

    March 26: "Early opt-in" student email accounts moved to Google Apps.

    Spring/Summer 2013: Remaining student email accounts moved to Google Apps.

More Information

The University’s ITS department has created a webpage and FAQ about the mail migration.  Please take the opportunity to visit the BC Google Apps website and learn more about the project at the BC Google Apps FAQ.


Study Room Reservations

In early January, the Law Library introduced a new online system for reserving study rooms in the library. To access the online reservation system, go to
Faculty and students may reserve study rooms for groups of 2 or more, for up to two hours.  Rooms may be reserved up to a week in advance. We think the online system is a big improvement over the paper sheets at the Information Desk!

Practising Law Institute – New e-book platform

PLI is a major CLE vendor and publisher offering access to coursebooks and treatises on a wide variety of subjects: bankruptcy, tax, mergers and acquisitions, and more. Until late 2012, PLI content was available on Westlaw using our academic subscriptions.  Due to licensing issues, PLI content is no longer available on Westlaw.  Now, PLI material is available either on BloombergLaw (only a subset of the treatises and no coursebooks) or on PLI’s own e-book platform.  BC Law Library has a one-year trail to test access on PLI’s e-book platform.  Take advantage of this trial period to try out the new platform; you can log-on to PLI using the Law Library’s list of databases.